Letters for June 20: Norfolk City Council must add funds to the Housing Trust Fund, create programs to hold landlords accountable

Gun Rights

Housing

As a child, I remember growing up in the Norview area of Norfolk. Norview was the place where I attended grade school, built friendships and found shelter. Unfortunately, for many Norfolk residents, shelter is limited. And shelter that is habitable is even more scarce. Many are facing this problem in Norfolk due to extremely high rent prices and a lack of landlord accountability.

The outcry for affordable housing has been loud and perpetual. For months, Virginia Organizing has called on elected officials to put measures in place to help the residents of Norfolk. While there has been some action from Norfolk City Council (a Housing Trust Fund line item was placed on its budget), we are demanding more for the people.

We are calling on the council to put the basic needs of its residents first by adding funds to the Housing Trust Fund and creating sustainable programs that hold landlords accountable, prohibiting them from renting substandard properties. Norfolk also needs to implement inclusionary zoning and a housing task force that includes community voices.

Patrice Smallwood, Virginia Organizing member, Norfolk

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California

Re “Youngkin wants to discard another climate law without legislative consent” (Our Views, June 11): The editorial reflects how out of touch those supporting liberal or progressive positions are on today’s important issues. Gov. Glenn Youngkin was elected primarily in response to a number of outrageous actions like this generated by his predecessor and the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

He’s been quite successful overall as evidenced by an approval rating of more than 50%, according to a January poll. I do not accept for one minute your observation that the “Democrats protected their majority in the state Senate” in response to opposing doing away with California’s clean car standards. As a matter of fact, I honestly believe that a vast number of voters were not even fully aware of the implications of Democratic Party efforts to require Virginia to abide by provisions developed by the state of California until after the election.

I doubt there are many non-Californians in this country today who would accept that any of California’s governmental policies should be a “standard” to follow. The strongest influence for aligning Virginia with the California-inspired requirements was generated by liberal legislators. We should certainly not be required to abide by policies created by the state of California.

Jim Pauls, Hampton

Babies

Re “In vitro fertilization access must be protected” (Other Views, June 11): Sen. Tim Kaine takes a page out of the Democratic Party playbook by using a heartrending case of a woman with several ectopic pregnancies, which left her unable to conceive the traditional way, and turned that case into a right for in vitro fertilization.

Legislation should never be based on particular cases but on general principles leaving open the possibility of exceptions for rare, special situations. IVF and other artificial reproductive technologies have given rise to “reproductive rights” as single men and women, and LGBTQ+ demand to be included, creating evermore complicated scenarios in the manufacturing of human beings.

Kaine does not address the moral status of the embryo, whether in vitro or in the womb, as embryos are routinely discarded in the IVF process. With hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos, what is to prohibit scientists from experimenting with hybrid embryos or doing gene editing to improve or enhance the species, otherwise known as eugenics? We forget that Frankenstein was not the monster — he was the creator.

On a more practical level Kaine wants to make IVF a medical benefit for veterans and service members. Sounds good, but a single IVF cycle can range from $15,000 to $30,000. For patients under age 40, “on average, research has shown that about 65.3% of patients, or two-thirds, have a successful outcome after six or more IVF cycles,” according to ormfertility.com. That brings the cost to the $90,00-to-$180,000 range per child. Surely, there are more economical ways to create babies.

Jim DellaValle, Yorktown

Bump stocks

Re “Trump once defied the NRA to ban bump stocks. He now says he ‘did nothing’ to restrict guns” (June 14): The Supreme Court did not lift the ban on bump stocks. It merely ruled the executive branch does not make law. (See Article I, Section I of the U.S. Constitution.) Also, the Supreme Court did not make abortion illegal, but correctly left the matter up to the states. (See Amendments IX and X of the U.S. Constitution.)

It’s really not all that complicated, but in order to make sense of it and grasp the framers’ attempt to create a republic instead of a monarchy, you must first read it.

Jim King, Chesapeake

Trial

It was common knowledge a couple years after the 2016 election that former President Donald Trump was accused of paying hush money.

But not in my wildest dreams did I think he would be found guilty by a jury of falsifying business records. These are average random citizens. It appears Trump owns a good portion of the Senate, House and Supreme Court, but he could not buy any of the jurors’ votes.

Gene Lech, Virginia Beach

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